TransNamib has opened a criminal case against workers for damaging company property at Walvis Bay.
Company spokesperson Abigail Raubenheimer said striking employees who are represented by Namibia Transport and Allied Workers Union (Natau) have not been abiding by the strike rules.
According to Raubenheimer, striking employees also threatened non-striking employees.
“The bullying and intimidation tactics are to such a great extent that TransNamib has had to call in the Namibian Police for assistance in the areas of Keetmanshoop, Tsumeb, Walvis Bay, and Windhoek to stop the harassment,” said Raubenheimer.
Raubenheimer said the company has fulfilled its end as per the settlement agreement reached with Natau on 27 July.
Information obtained from the police confirms that a case of malicious damage to property was opened on 19 August in Walvis Bay.
According to police spokesperson Kauna Shikwambi, suspects “cut open three vacuum tanker pipes on the train with unknown objects”.
The damage has affected the mobility of the train. The value of the properties damaged is N$330 000. No one has been arrested and investigations are ongoing.
Natau’s secretary general, Narina Pollmann did not respond to questions sent to her on Monday.
Employees went on strike last week after an overwhelming majority voted in favour of an industrial action.
The workers and TransNamib reached a deadlock during salary negotiations after the company said it did not have funds to affect a salary increase.
The employees in 2019 requested a salary increase of 18% for workers who fall within the A band, 15% for those within the B band, and 13% for the C band.
This offer was rejected by TransNamib.
The workers went back to the drawing board and reduced their demands. They presented TransNamib with three options; firstly, a salary increase of 15% for employees within the A band, 13% for the workers falling within the B band, and 9% for those within the C band.
In the second option, the employees were willing to settle for an increase of 7% for the A band, 5.5% for the B band, and 3.5% for the C band.
The last option presented to TransNamib by the workers in October 2021 was for the organisation to give a salary increase of 7% across the board.